Thursday, March 1, 2012

Directions for Rik Bootsman, Pieter Lobbezoo & Pieter Bron

Over the past 2 project-weeks, various brainstorm sessions, discussions and research have been performed in order to get a clear view on what we want to get out of this project. On the right are the possible directions we've come up with on Monday the 13th of February. We've also performed a brainstorm session that day with random items, to see whether new ideas sprang to mind using these items.

After these brainstorm sessions, it became clear that we want to focus on the Artificial Intelligence, especially autonomous sailing and swarm control. How can we ensure that a fleet of - for instance - 10 vessels can harmoniously work together without crashing each other.

We then continued searching for the optimal building solutions in order to create an easy, yet efficient sailing drone.

- One sail instead of two sails. If you build a gaff rig up front of the drone, you can get proper pulling power without extra control difficulties.
- A canting keel aids the boat to stay at a more horizontal level, ensuring a bigger surface to catch wind in the sails. We might look into this in the future.
- We might want to use a special material for the sails: There exist a very tin fabric of solar panels which can be used as a sail. This way, you have a big surface where energy can be caught to charge the batteries. This is also for in the future.

Plan for now
Our plan is to build a quick and easy sailing drone. We then want to actuate it by using servo's etc., while the final step will be autonomising it. The specs for this boat will be uploaded soon.

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